#CovidWarriors – Satya Special School reaches out to disabled people across Puducherry during lockdown
Our monthly series #CovidWarriors brings to your stories about NGOs and institutions that have been working to support people with disabilities during the lockdown. In our last feature for the month, we feature Satya Special School from Puducherry.
For Latha* (name has been changed), the lockdown was tough. She lives in a rural village and is a daily wage worker. She gets to buy provisions and vegetables with her daily earned money. But due to lockdown, Latha lost her job and had no income. Her son who has seizures require medicines every day and Latha was unable to even get that. Satya Special School team came the rescue of Latha and her son. They were provided with groceries and medicines to last for over a month. Latha has no words to thank the team and is over-whelmed. There are hundreds of people like Latha across Pondicherry who needs help during the pandemic. Satya is offering them a much needed helping hand.
The various works at Satya during lockdown
Satya is one of the most popular special schools in Pondicherry. Founded by Chitra Shah, the school has empowered thousands of youngsters with various kinds of disabilities.
During the pandemic, it was teachers, coordinators and staffs at Satya that worked together to help disabled people. From providing medicines, groceries and even toy kits for children, they had a busy two months.
Our relief works started by late March, which is when the lockdown was announced. Our team worked hard to reach out to as many people as possible during these tough times. I can proudly say that they all did a fantastic job and our venture was a huge success- Chitra Shah, Founder, Satya Special School.
As soon as the lockdown started, Satya team introduced exclusive helplines for disabled people. Teachers and medical professionals were kept on standby to those who need help.
Around 2000 people were provided with groceries, vegetables, toiletries, medicines, safety gears and toys. Each grocery kit had essential items like rice, oil, sugar, wheat and so on so that the family can use it for many days. In the safety gears kits, PPE kits, masks, gloves and hand sanitizers were provided.
There are many students who missed their regular class activities. For them video calls, weekly classes and activity based learning sessions were held. To create awareness, the team made E-pamphlets and animators conducted door-to-door sessions. Children were kept engaged throughout the past two months with various class activities and video storytelling sessions.
The heart-warming work of team Satya
Apart from disabled people, Satya reached a wide audience which included elderly people, minority and gypsy communities, single women and widows, sanitary and municipal workers, inmates of central prison, police, migrant workers, temple priests and so on.
There were many individual donors who contributed towards their cause. Azim Premji Foundation, The Hans Foundation and Sri Aurobindo Society are amongst others who contributed.
“One of the ladies whom we delivered the medicines was so touched that she started to cry and touch my feet. I was almost embarrassed. That is when I realized how important the work that we were doing was”, says a project coordinator.
“Usually epidemic medicines are provided free for us from the General Hospital. But with the lockdown, we could not reach the hospital. I was worried because missing medicines for one day would mean seizures for my son. Thankfully Satya’s angels came with enough medicines that we could use for a month. This support was God sent”, says a mother who has a disabled son.
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